“There’s no such thing as a free carbon cap”

Lynne Kiesling

I’m taking a little time this morning to catch up on the reading I’ve missed over the past month, while I’ve been focused elsewhere. One worthwhile observation, with which I agree, comes from Virginia Postrel’s note about carbon policy positions of Presidential candidates, among other things:

It’s infuriating how all three presidential candidates prattle on about the need to fight global warming while also complaining about the high price of gasoline. … The last thing you’d want to do is reduce gas taxes during the summer, as John McCain has proposed. That would just encourage people to burn more gas on extra vacation trips–as any straight talker would admit.


3 thoughts on ““There’s no such thing as a free carbon cap”

  1. Lynne,

    I hope Virginia Postrel will do a follow-up post entitled: “There is no such thing as a free (or revenue neutral) carbon tax.

    While CA is still working on its plan to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, my conceptual plan for energy independence and a 95% carbon emissions reduction is still out there waiting for someone to adopt it. (http://www.utilitiesproject.com/documents.asp?grID=111&d_ID=4296) Imagine, “green nirvana” for a mere $10-40 trillion. Such a deal!

    It is little wonder that the global climate change “acclaimers” are reluctant (unwilling?) to put forth a plan to achieve their “wish”; or, to provide real world estimates of the cost of realizing their “wish”.

    To the “Three Amigos”, I pose the following questions:
    1) What is the “ideal” global average temperature?
    2) What is the “ideal” atmospheric CO2 concentration?
    3) By what percentage must global CO2 emissions be reduced to prevent further accumulation of CO2 beyond the “ideal”?
    4) Over what time period must that reduction occur to avoid further adverse effects?
    5) Over what time period must the atmospheric CO2 concentration be reduced to the ideal?
    6) Who will convince all of the globe’s governments to take the actions necessary, regardless of the economic consequences?

    The answers, my friends, are not “blowin’ in the wind”.

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